Meet the Board: Kelly Beaver

21 May 2019

Kelly Beaver, Board member Campaign for the Social Science

Kelly Beaver, Board member Campaign for the Social Science

Kelly Beaver is the Managing Director of Ipsos MORI’s Public Affairs business in the United Kingdom. She is responsible for a team of c.250 staff located throughout the UK including in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Her team provides robust research and analysis to help clients across every area of government policy to monitor and understand public opinion, behaviours and societal trends, design public services and policies, and to determine what works in achieving social and economic policy objectives. Kelly holds several honorary positions outside of Ipsos. These include a Senior Research Fellowship at the Kings Policy Institute, and a Board Member for the Campaign for Social Sciences in the UK. Kelly was a Director of the UK Evaluation Society between 2011 and 2017.

What is your social science background?
Kelly Beavery (KB): I have worked in the ‘evidence industry’ since I started out in my career – first as an economist in several Big 4 consulting firms, and then more as a public policy evaluation professional. I now have the privilege of leading a team of social researchers and evaluators who collectively produce a significant amount of policy specific evidence for the UK, and for European and International organisations.

Why did you decide to pursue a social-science focused career?
KB: I have always been passionate about the use of evidence in the policy making process. I am not naive enough to believe that policy is directly led by the evidence on every occasion, but I am clear that a well-timed, clearly articulated evidence base can make a strong contribution to effective policy. I am also an avid supporter of value for tax payer’s money and so was interested in the role that social sciences can play in ensuring that public policies achieve their aims at a reasonable cost.

How have your social science skills benefited you in your career?
KB: Hugely actually, and not just in a technical capacity. Whilst the social sciences discipline is very wide ranging the curiosity about how people live, how businesses and society functions connects the whole discipline. And this curiosity is helpful in people management, business management and in day-to-day life. I constantly question why things are as they are and whether they could be improved, which is a trait very unpopular with my husband!

What motivated you to join the Campaign Board and what do you hope to achieve?
KB: The Campaign is a great movement to increase the voice and visibility of the social sciences. This is something that I completely support and feel passionate about. As a representative from the private sector I hope to support broadening the reach, influence and representativeness of the Campaign’s activities.

What are some interesting upcoming projects you’re working on?
KB: Oh so many, but for brevity I’ll name just one of relevance to the Campaign. I am currently working on a project around the ‘State of Evidence’ in the UK which explores the UK context for evidence production and use, and emerging trends.